Synopses & Reviews
A revealing and incisive account of the King of Late Night at the height of his fame and power, by his lawyer, wingman, fixer, and closest confidant
From 1962 until 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and permeated the American consciousness. In the and#8217;70s and and#8217;80s he was the countryand#8217;s highest-paid entertainer and its most enigmatic. He was notoriously inscrutable, as mercurial (and sometimes cruel) off-camera as he was charming and hilarious onstage. During the apex of his reign, Carsonand#8217;s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with a breathtaking clarity and depth that nobody else could.
From the moment in 1970 when Carson hired Bushkin (who was just twenty-seven) until the moment eighteen years later when they parted ways, the author witnessed and often took part in a string of escapades that still retain their power to surprise and fascinate us. One of Bushkinand#8217;s first assignments was helping Carson break into a posh Manhattan apartment to gather evidence of his wifeand#8217;s infidelity. More than once, Bushkin helped his client avoid entanglements with the mob. Of course, Carsonand#8217;s adventures werenand#8217;t all so sordid. He hosted Ronald Reaganand#8217;s inaugural concert as a favor to the new president, and he prevented a drunken Dean Martin from appearing onstage that evening. Carson socialized with Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, Kirk Douglas, and dozens of other boldface names who populate this atmospheric and propulsive chronicle of the King of Late Night and his world.
But this memoir isnand#8217;t just dishy. It is a tautly rendered and remarkably nuanced portrait of Carson, revealing not only how he truly was, but why. Bushkin explains why Carson, a voracious (and very talented) womanizer, felt he always had to be married; why he loathed small talk even as he excelled at it; why he couldnand#8217;t visit his son in the hospital and wouldnand#8217;t attend his motherand#8217;s funeral; and much more. Bushkinand#8217;s account is by turns shocking, poignant, and uproarious and#8212; written with a novelistand#8217;s eye for detail, a screenwriterand#8217;s ear for dialogue, and a knack for comic timing that Carson himself would relish. Johnny Carson unveils not only the hidden Carson, but also the raucous, star-studded world he ruled.
“Theres as much practical, hard-won advice here as there is Hollywood gossip, and Marshall's boundless energy and no-nonsense attitude make for a fun read.” - Publishers Weekly
“Bold and irrepressibly sassy.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Marshalls matter-of-fact memoir is a must-read for one reason - its hilarious.” - Marie Claire
“According to her revealing new memoir, budding actress Penny Marshall braved the cruelties of a business obsessed with perky, girl-next-door pretty. Of course, that was before Marshall starred in the juggernaut sitcom Laverne & Shirley, then directed movies like A League of Their Own and Big - the first Hollywood film with a woman at the helm to gross over $100 million, vaulting her into the elite ranks of Hollywood power players. Beautiful.” - O Magazine
“Penny Marshall charmed America in Laverne & Shirley and gave her comedic and directors touch to films such as Big and A League of Their Own. Now she tells all with memoir My Mother Was Nuts. The brutally honest, heartbreaking tale includes her recent struggle with (and victory over) cancer. Above all, the book is funny.” - USA Weekend
“This breezy and charming memoir also has many serious things to say about motherhood, the Hollywood pecking order, taking advantage when luck comes ones way, growing up with distant and weird parents, and marrying too young.” - Publishers Marketplace
“Penny Marshalls My Mother Was Nuts is absolutely hilarious and dead serious… its Pennys raspy, punchline packed voice all the way through. You cannot put My Mother Was Nuts down. Just try.” -ShowBiz411.com
“Hollywood aficionados will get a kick out of Marshalls anecdotes about her circle of friends, including Albert Brooks, John Belushi, and Carrie Fisher, all told in a funny, down-to-earth manner.” - Booklist
“Penny Marshall is a fascinating woman who has lived a life few of us could survive. Did you know she gave me two of the best jobs Ive ever had? Of course not, because when she talks she is barely comprehensible. Read her memoir and youll come to love her as much as I do.” - Tom Hanks
“If I hadnt known Penny for the past 35 years, reading this book would make me want to. Also, I'm so glad she wrote it because it helps me remember things I forgot, which is a lot.” - Carrie Fisher
“My sister Penny is one of the funniest people I know. Im not saying that because shes my sister, although I am partial to nepotism. She made everyone laugh at our family dinner table, and she made everyone laugh on the set of Laverne and Shirley. The fact that she went on to become the first woman director in the history of film, to make not one, but two movies that made over $100 million is no surprise to me. Read this book and you will know why.” - Garry Marshall
“A very funny book by a very funny lady. I wouldn't have a career without her!” - Mark Wahlberg
"Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique 'star was born.' Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography..."--USA TODAY "[An] excellent new work...One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle."-Liz Smith, syndicated columnist "[A] surprisingly suspenseful and masterfully paced biography."—Kirkus (starred) "Streisand fans will come away feeling theyve had a ringside seat at her early career, and they will leave the show applauding."—Booklist "A compelling, detailed look at the rise of the multitalented Streisand from 17-year-old unknown to chart-topping singer and Broadway star. Highly recommended for fans of Streisand, biographies, and theater."--Library Journal "Combining extensive interviews (some anonymous) and exhaustive archival research, Mann balances intimate personal details with audience reactions and critical acclaim to etch an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman."--Publishers Weekly "…[I]n his masterful Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand, he [Mann] captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date." -Howard Cohen, The Miami Herald
and#8220;Henry Bushkinand#8217;s and#8216;Johnny Carsonand#8217; is that rare celebrity tell-all by an author who knows whom and what heand#8217;s talking about.and#8221; and#8211; The New York Times
and#8220;Few books like and#8216;Johnny Carsonand#8217; have been more engrossing. It's not just a juicy peek inside a celebrity's life...Bushkin's memoir is also a well-written corporate tale that reveals the tough business of staying America's favorite late-night host, full of stories of money, sex and skullduggery, peppered with plenty of laughs.and#8221; and#8211; The Associated Press
and#8220;This is not a tawdry tell-all but rather, an insightful and sobering character study of a tortured man and failed husband and father, as told through the eyes and experiences of one of his closest confidantes.and#8221; and#8211; Huffington Post
and#8220;[a] gracefully written, often insightful memoirand#8221; and#8211; The Daily Beast
"Twenty years since retiring and eight since his death, Carson remains the god of late night and the dean of American comedy." and#8211; New York Magazine, Fall Preview
"Most readers will be captivated by this high-definition, off-camera, extreme close-up view of the enigmatic entertainer." and#8211; Kirkus
"The book bears effective witness to a swinging era when celebrities were 'entertainers,' the highball glass was never empty, there were only three channels on TV, and Carson was its king.and#8221;and#8211; Bloomberg Businessweek
"Show-business junkies old enough to have spent many of their late nights between 1962 and 1992 watching Johnny Carson, 'the King of Late Night,' will likely devour this long-anticipated memoir in one gulp...The portrait of Carson offered here, though, goes way beyond dish: it is a genuinely multifaceted look at the burdens and the excesses of celebrity. Equally fascinating, though, is Bushkinand#8217;s own story." - Booklist
"An insightful glimpse into the world of The Tonight Show and the star-studded life of Carson. An addictive read." - Publishers Weekly
A touching and hilarious memoir by the author of the forthcoming book, In Such Good Company
, is 100 percent Carol Burnett--funny, irreverent, and irresistible.
Carol Burnett is one of the most beloved and revered actresses and performers in America. The Carol Burnett Show
was seen each week by millions of adoring fans and won twenty-five Emmys in its remarkable eleven-year run. Now, in This Time Together
, Carol really lets her hair down and tells one funny or touching or memorable story after another--reading it feels like sitting down with an old friend who has wonderful tales to tell.
In engaging anecdotes, Carol discusses her remarkable friendships with stars such at Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and Julie Andrews; the background behind famous scenes, like the moment she swept down the stairs in her curtain-rod dress in the legendary Went With the Wind skit; and things that would happen only to Carol--the prank with Julie Andrews that went wrong in front of the First Lady; the famous Tarzan Yell that saved her during a mugging; and the time she faked a wooden leg to get served in a famous ice cream emporium. This poignant look back allows us to cry with the actress during her sorrows, rejoice in her successes, and finally, always, to laugh.
From the Hardcover edition."
A touching and hilarious memoir by the author of Carrie and Me: A Mother Daughter Love Story
, This Time Together
is 100 percent Carol Burnett – funny, irreverent, and irresistible.
Carol Burnett is one of the most beloved and revered actresses and performers in America. The Carol Burnett Show was seen each week by millions of adoring fans and won twenty-five Emmys in its remarkable eleven-year run. Now, in This Time Together, Carol really lets her hair down and tells one funny or touching or memorable story after another – reading it feels like sitting down with an old friend who has wonderful tales to tell.
In engaging anecdotes, Carol discusses her remarkable friendships with stars such at Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and Julie Andrews; the background behind famous scenes, like the moment she swept down the stairs in her curtain-rod dress in the legendary “Went With the Wind” skit; and things that would happen only to Carol – the prank with Julie Andrews that went wrong in front of the First Lady; the famous Tarzan Yell that saved her during a mugging; and the time she faked a wooden leg to get served in a famous ice cream emporium. This poignant look back allows us to cry with the actress during her sorrows, rejoice in her successes, and finally, always, to laugh.
From the Hardcover edition.
An endlessly dishy and incisive account of the King of Late Night at the height of his fame and power, by his lawyer, wingman, fixer, and closest confidant.
andldquo;A close look at how show business power corrupts . . . The dishiest read of the year.andrdquo; andndash; Janet Maslin, andldquo;Ten Favorite Books of the Year,andrdquo;and#160;New York Times
andldquo;Hereandrsquo;s Johnny!andrdquo; Probably everyone in America knows the phrase, whether they watched every episode ofand#160;The Tonight Showand#160;or none because they had to go to bed early on school nights. From 1962 to 1992, Johnny Carson and hisand#160;Tonight Showand#160;dominated the American consciousness.
Henry Bushkin was Carsonandrsquo;s best friend and lawyer during that period, and his book is a tautly rendered and remarkably nuanced portrait of Carson, revealing not only how he truly was, but why. Bushkin explains why Carson, a voracious (and very talented) womanizer, felt he always had to be married; why he couldnandrsquo;t visit his son in the hospital and wouldnandrsquo;t attend his motherandrsquo;s funeral; and much more.and#160;Johnny Carsonand#160;is by turns shocking, poignant, and uproarious andmdash; written with a novelistandrsquo;s eye for detail, a screenwriterandrsquo;s ear for dialogue, and a knack for comic timing that Carson himself would relish.
andldquo;A fascinating book about a complex man.andrdquo; andmdash;and#160;Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
andldquo;Likeand#160;The Tonight Show, the book has many a merry moment . . . [Johnny Carson] was also one of a kind, and is missed. This book brings a bit of him back.andrdquo; andmdash;and#160;St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Aand#160;Peopleand#160;magazine Top Ten Book of the Year
From her humble roots in the Bronx to Laverne and Shirley and her unlikely ascent in Hollywood, the beloved actor and director tells the story of her incredible life.
At the age of twenty-six, Penny Marshall was a divorced mother of one living in the Bronx. One year later she starred in a Head & Shoulders commercial (she was the one with the dandruff) with Farah Fawcett. So began the unlikely career of one of Hollywoods most accomplished directors.
My Mother Was Nuts tells the story of Marshalls incredible life, from her starring role on the classic sitcom Laverne and Shirley to her trailblazing moment as the first woman to direct a movie grossing more than $100 million at the box office.
The book is a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood life, exploring her friendships with John Belushi, Lorne Michaels, Art Garfunkel, and Carrie Fisher, her marriage and eventual divorce from Rob Reiner, and her experiences working with Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Geena Davis, Denzel Washington, and Drew Barrymore.
This is a book about Hollywood, womanhood, and the power of Spanx.
"[An] excellent new work . . . One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle." —Liz Smith, syndicated columnist
“Barbra Streisand’s story may be the most triumphant case of revenge in show business history . . . Mann vividly evokes the atmosphere of Streisand’s New York.”—New York Times
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, she was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. In Hello, Gorgeous, the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into one of the world’s most beloved superstars.
“Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but author William Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique ‘star was born’ . . . Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography: shedding light on the formative years that shaped Streisand's persona, debunking some myths . . . and providing a cultural snapshot of the wild and free-spirited era in which Streisand blossomed.”—USA Today
“In his masterful book, Mann captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date . . . Many books have been written about Streisand but few, if any, put readers as close to the subject as Mann does."—Miami Herald
About the Author
Penny Marshall is an actress, producer, and director. From 1976 until 1983, she starred as Laverne DeFazio in the classic TV sitcom Laverne and Shirley. She went on to direct films such as Big (1988), the first movie directed by a woman to gross in excess of $100 million at the U.S. box office, Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and A League of Their Own (1992), which also made over $100 million in the U.S. More recently, she has directed episodes of United States of Tara (2009) and guest-starred on Portlandia (2011).
Table of Contents
Five More Minutes 1
What Were You Expecting—Hedy Lemarr? 8
The Grand Concourse 14
Strictly Ballroom 24
Dear Mom & Dad 32
The Marshall Plan 39
Mucho Grath-e-ath 46
The Facts of Life 52
Mrs. Henry 57
Forget the Gas, I Want the Jell-O 64
Take Everything 70
A Work in Progress 75
Thank God My Brother Had a Job 81
The Manson Murders 87
I Made Him Sick 92
All in the Family 98
Funny Business 106
Out with a Laugh 111
Live from New York 114
Ready for Prime Time 118
Chick Fight 125
From Suds to Stardom 131
Live from New Orleans 135
Wheres Mom? 141
The Remodel 146
Dirty Laundry 162
Taking Direction 170
Old Friends 176
Good-bye Shirl 182
In the Event of My Death 188
Peggy Sue Blues 193
Jumpin Jack Flash 202
Keeping Things in Perspective 209
Getting Street Cred 213
Heart and Soul 219
A Medical Mystery Tour 231
Batter Up 247
Adding Wood 259
The Gospel 269
The Last Bull Run 280
Riding in Cars 290
Make It Funny, Honey 301
Get Me Some White Castles 306
Five More Minutes 317